The private prison system has grown into a multimillion-dollar industry, which can be partially attributed to strict immigration laws that use racial profiling as a means of mass incarcerating immigrant populations. As corporate officials utilize these laws, such as Arizona’s S.B. 1070, to gain more inmates in their private prisons, they continue to perpetuate the racism that plagues the entire prison industrial complex.
After our recent readings about race and feminism, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce black feminist sociologist Patricia Hill Collins, author of Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. The chapter, “Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination,” discusses the connection between race, class, and gender, which, she says, are the “three systems of oppression that most heavily affect African-American women.” With this belief, she argues: “By portraying African-American women as self-defined, self-reliant individuals confronting race, gender, and class oppression, Afrocentric feminist thought speaks to the importance knowledge plays in empowering oppressed people.” After reading this, I immediately thought of my favorite singer, Billie Holiday. In her songs, although many examine love and patriarchal relationships, she expresses an underlying sense of consciousness about her identity as a Black woman in the elite/white/male dominated society of the 1930/40’s.
I saw this poster in the men’s clothing section at Target. It depicts a friendly backyard football game between presumably a group of friends. I immediately thought about the representation of race in the poster. Out of the five men shown, two are black, two are definitely white, and the one on the left could be maybe white or asian, although I initially assumed he was white.
The following is a screen shot from the website broslikethissite.com. #94 (note: numbers are in order of post date, not in order of pertinence to the bro ideal) on the extensive list of things “bros” like is the token black bro. To backtrack a little, a “bro,” as my high school defined it, was typically associated with lacrosse. These white males love partying, “chicks,” flow [long hair], and “being chill.” This bro culture has prompted the creation of many websites including Bro Bible and Bros Like this Site along with an entire fashion sense [lacrosse pinnies, boat shoes, croakies, and Nantucket Reds]. Specifically, Bros Like this Site offers a list of things typical bros are interested in. On the right column of the home page, the site offers a list of their most popular posts. Among “#24 Birth Control not Involving Condoms,” and “#3 Calling Girls Sluts,” was “#94 The Token Black Bro.” While most things these bros boast about are politically incorrect and extremely upsetting, their post on the Token Black Bro highlights many of our national standards involving race.
In the clip it shows a news story where a high school teacher called an African American student the N word. In the story he tries to defined his action by saying that he used a different version of the word. That instead of using the racist slur that is spelled n i g g e r he used the version spelled n i g g a, which is a slang word according to him and not a racist term.